It's time to honor Mt. Diablo Unified School District Employees.

The first Employees' Academy Awards will take place from 5:30 to 9 p.m. May 17, Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road in Concord.

The goal of the event, put on by the Mt. Diablo Education Association, is to bring the school district community together to celebrate positive contributions of teachers, administrators, classified employees and volunteers, according to a flier for the event. Twelve employees will be honored at the event, having been nominated by students, fellow employees and parents.

The Mt. Diablo High School's Serendipity Student Restaurant will cater the event. There will also be musical and fine arts students performing. Tickets are $40 for the general public, $30 for elected officials and $20 for district employees. For more information go to www.ourmdea.org.

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    Joshua Herman of Walnut Creek is one of about 1,000 high school students throughout the country to win a corporate sponsored National Merit Scholarship. Herman goes to Monte Vista High School in Danville and received the National Merit Nelson F. Peterson Scholarship provided by Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. His probable career field is physics, according to a news release.


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    Approximately 200 corporations, company foundations and other businesses provided the scholarships.

    Scholars were selected from among students who advanced to the finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Corporate sponsors provide National Merit Scholarships for finalists who are children of their employees, who are residents of communities the company serve, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage, according to the release.

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    Varsity Tutors has launched a monthly college scholarship contest.

    The merit-based program is open to U.S. residents 16 and older and offers the opportunity to win $1,000 toward their college tuition.

    To enter, students must submit an essay during the submission period, between the first and 15th of each month.

    Valid entries are displayed on the Varsity Tutors website and put to an online public vote via social media from the 16th trough the end of the month.

    A panel of judges selects a winner from the five entries that received the most votes. Entries are judged based on clarity of expression, creativity, originality of expression and sincerity, and essay themes center on academic-based topics.

    The current submission period began April 1. For information and official rules, visit http://www.varsitytutors.com/college-scholarship.

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    This Friday, start your weekend with an evening of cutting-edge music.

    Jazz bands from Northgate High School and other selected schools will perform at the 4th annual Jazzschool High School Invitational, held at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley.

    The event is free. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the performance at 8 p.m. For information, visit www.thefreight.org.

    To submit an item for School Notes, contact Elisabeth Nardi at 925-952-2617. Follow her at Twitter.com/enardi10.